Ye Olde Pharmacy
owner John Jankowski said you won’t find motor oil, lawn
chairs or alcohol in his store. Instead, he focuses
solely on the health care needs of his clients,
providing niche products and “a lot of consulting.”
Photo by Mark Justesen
CEDARBURG — You might say it’s been an uphill battle,
but John Jankowski, owner of Ye Olde Pharmacy and
Wellness Center in Cedarburg, never doubted his business
could compete against the big guys and succeed.
He and a partner, who Jankowski has since bought out,
opened the doors of the Mill Street store in December
1998. Although two chain drugstores were already in the
city, as well as an area grocery with a pharmacy,
Jankowski said it’s the model of his store that made
them think they could make a go of it.
“We have no motor oil, no hoses or lawn chairs here,” he
said. “What we do have is a safety section, first aid
supplies, wheelchair sales and rental, vitamins and
nutrients, compression stockings, knee braces, diabetic
socks and shoes and personalized service. You must have
a well-trained and certified staff to assist customers
with these types of products.”
From day one, Jankowski has believed in providing
home delivery. With a full-time and back-up driver on
staff, deliveries are made daily and at no cost.
Jankowski reports that seniors take advantage of this
service, especially if they have difficulty getting out.
Many customers have their weekly medication packets
delivered by the drivers.
“You hear and see advertising that other drugstores make
home delivery, but it’s by mail,” said Jankowski. “It
can take two or three days for a prescription to
Jankowski and staff service 14 group homes primarily in
Ozaukee County, and several in Milwaukee. They package
medicines for the residents and visit them to conduct
medication reviews. Medication reviews are also provided
for in-store customers.
“We sit down and review everything a person has been
taking,” said Jankowski. “We look for drug interactions
and see if there is something that can be replaced with
Pictured are some
of the Ye Olde Pharmacy employees, along with owner John
Photo by Mark Justesen
Olde Pharmacy also does “compounding.” These products
are custom-blended with no lactose, no dyes or fillers
and include animal medications, pain creams and
medicines and hormone replacement blends.
Ye Olde Pharmacy has a pharmacist intern program for
college students. To date, about 100 interns have gone
through the program and Jankowski boasts a 99percent
satisfaction rate from both sides. One student came from
South Carolina and negotiated rates with a local
bed-and-breakfast in order to stay for the six-
“They are interested in seeing how an independent
pharmacy operates,” said Jankowski. “It’s not like
training in a chain store or a nursing home. We hope
some students choose this path.”
Twenty employees work in the business today. When it
opened, staff consisted of Jankowski and his mother, who
remained working until shortly before her death.
“The first day we opened,” he recalled, “we had no
orders. The second day we had one. On the third day, we
offered free cholesterol testing and I thought ‘what did
I get into?’ We were buried in people.”
Jankowski said his last family vacation was in 2013. He
doesn’t think his children are too anxious to follow in
his footsteps. But the satisfaction he derives from
providing quality care and unique services at
competitive pricing is well worth the long hours.
“It takes stomach and nerve to help people in the face
of modern insurance,” he said. “But I never wanted to do
anything else except be right here.”